Author: Ginn Hale
Publisher: Blind Eye Books
Rating: 5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Kiram Kir-Zaki may be considered a mechanist prodigy among his own people, but when he becomes the first Haldiim ever admitted to the prestigious Sagrada Academy, he is thrown into a world where power, superstition and swordplay outweigh even the most scholarly of achievements. But when the intimidation from his Cadeleonian classmates turns bloody, Kiram unexpectedly finds himself befriended by Javier Tornesal, the leader of a group of cardsharps, duelists and lotharios who call themselves Hellions. However Javier is a dangerous friend to have. Wielder of the White Hell and sole heir of a dukedom, he is surrounded by rumors of forbidden seductions, murder and damnation. His enemies are many and any one of his secrets could not only end his life but Kiram’s as well.
Review: I love a lot of books, but some books are just more. I don’t know how to explain it better than that. Ginn Hale has long been one of my favorite authors. More than once I’ve said my favorite Ginn Hale book is the one I’ve most recently read. Right now my favorite is Lord of the White Hell book 1, where we meet Kiram and Javier. We meet a bunch of other people, too, but really this is about Kiram and Javier, a couple of new adults who are worlds apart from each other. And of course they fall for each other amidst mayhem, intrigue, danger, and homework. But like I said some books are just more, and this book is so much more than a beautiful romance. Although it is a beautiful romance in spite of everything and everyone trying to keep these guys apart. And really, everyone and everything is trying to keep Kiram and Javier apart. I mean, if it’s not overly involved uncles it’s a big family curse.
One of my favorite things about speculative fiction is its ability to expose and showcase problems in everyday life. Here we get to feel how uncomfortable it can be to be not only the new kid in a school but a different kid. Kiram is the one bright spot of diversity in a sea of sameness. Kiram is not Cadeleonian. The Sagrada Academy is fine admitting a Haldiim boy, but none of the Cadeleonians actually want to room with him. Kiram is stuck rooming with the guy who carries a hell inside him, Javier. None of the Cadeleonians will room with Javier, either. But nothing is simple. Javier is both beloved and feared. As a duke Javier is powerful, but his powerful family is cursed. Even his heir and cousin is cursed. Kiram wants to solve the problem of the curse. He’s a problem solver. He’s convinced being able to look at it from a different angle is going to solve everything. But, again, nothing is simple.
It’s hard to review just one of the Lord of the White Hell books as the transition between the two is seamless. Javier and Kiram realize they’re falling for each other, but Cadeleonian society will not accept their relationship. Something has got to give. Thankfully I had the second book and was immediately able to pick it up and read it. Again. Because in spite of knowing how things were going to happen I very much needed to read this whole story again once I had started. It is, after all, my favorite Ginn Hale book (until I read the next one.)
I still don’t really know how to express how I feel about this series. I can say I love it, but I’ve loved very many books. Also, that’s just not enough. I need lots of modifiers and exclamation points with some made up words thrown into the mix. I love it more betterer!!!!!! This story is exceptional. It’s a beautiful and damning tale of how the people who don’t fit in can either help or hurt a society that prizes conformity and assimilation, plus it’s a sweet romance and has swords and bird spies and a guy who maybe turns into a dog. Seriously, what more could you want? It’s the bestalest!!!!!!!